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The adiabatic piston: a perpetuum mobile in the mesoscopic realm

Crosignani, Bruno and Di Porto, Paolo and Conti, Claudio (2004) The adiabatic piston: a perpetuum mobile in the mesoscopic realm. Entropy, 6 (1). pp. 50-56. ISSN 1099-4300.

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A detailed analysis of the adiabatic-piston problem reveals, for a finely-tuned choice of the spatial dimensions of the system, peculiar dynamical features that challenge the statement that an isolated system necessarily reaches a time-independent equilibrium state. In particular, the piston behaves like a perpetuum mobile, i.e., it never comes to a stop but keeps wandering, undergoing sizeable oscillations around the position corresponding to maximum entropy; this has remarkable implications on the entropy changes of a mesoscopic isolated system and on the limits of validity of the second law of thermodynamics in the mesoscopic realm.

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Additional Information:© 2004 by MDPI ( This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Received: 23 September 2003 / Accepted: 15 December 2003 / Published: 11 March 2004. (This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantum Limits to the Second Law of Thermodynamics) We wish to thank Noel Corngold for many fruitful discussions.
Subject Keywords:Brownian motors; perpetuum mobile; second law
Classification Code:PACS: 05.70.-a, 05.40.-a, 05.20.-y
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:CROentr04
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Official Citation:Crosignani, B.; Porto, P., Di; Conti, C. The adiabatic piston: a perpetuum mobile in the mesoscopic realm. Entropy 2004, 6, 50-56.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2243
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:18 Mar 2006
Last Modified:21 Apr 2016 19:08

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